Seeded Poems/ Byron Poetry Reading / Al and Eurithe Purdy Prize – Poetry News Roundup April 23rd

Today on My Poetic Side, we look at poems written on seeded paper, a Byron poetry reading and a new poetry prize’s inaugural winner.

Poems Written on Seeded Paper to be Scattered Over Poet’s Grave

Children at the Wilfred Owen School, which is located in Shrewsbury  have been writing poetry on seeded paper. The idea is that the poems will be scattered over the war cemetery where Owen and other soldiers are buried.

Owen, who was himself from Shrewsbury, was killed during WWI. His body is buried in a war cemetery in Ors, France. The children are hoping that their poems will help to create a wildflower carpet. All of the poems will be flown by Spitfire later in the year for scattering.

The school which is named after the poet recently celebrated Owens birthday as part of a week of celebrations.

Simon Armitage Reads Byron Poetry

Keats-Shelley House, named after the poets John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley, is marking the bicentenary of the death of Lord Byron with a number of events.

The UK poet laureate, Simon Armitage, has recently taken part in one of these events; a reading of a selection of works by the poet, and also a number of his own poems.

Byron died in 1824, and this year marks the 200th anniversary of his death, with a wide range of events being planned in a number of different countries, Keats-Shelley House, which is located in Rome, began their programme of events to mark the occasion on 1st January 2024. These will run until November, although they are hoping to add more events to the calendar.

Inaugural Al and Eurithe Purdy Prize Winner Announced

The poet Sid Marty has been announced as the Al and Eurithe Purdy Prize winner of 2024. This is the inaugural year of the award which has a prize of $10,000 and is given in recognition of the best new book of Canadian poetry.

Marty has won the prize for his book “Oldman’s River: New and Collected Poems”. The collection feature a range of his poetry, some of which has previously been published. The rest has never been published before. The inspiration for the poetry in the book comes from Alberta, the mountains of British Columbia and the prairies. The poems are a celebration of life in a rural area and a call for more protection for the natural world.

Sid Marty is the author of five books of poetry and a further five books of nonfiction. He has been shortlisted twice for the Governor General’s Literary Award for nonfiction.

The judging panel chose him as the winner because they felt that his distinctive Canadian voice and plain speaking was very much a “Purdy” tradition. Marty was, in fact, a good friend of Al Purdy and was given his first big break by him when Al Purdy included his work in his landmark anthology collection.

The Al and Eurithe Poetry Prize was founded in honour of Al Purdy. The inaugural winner was announced on the 24th anniversary of his death. He was a 1982 recipient of the Order of Canada and also a winner of the League of Canadian Poets’ Voice of the Land Award for his contributions to Canadian poetry.

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